Historic Home Renovation

Historic Home Renovation: Things to Consider

Owning a historic Virginia property can be a rewarding investment, but knowing the significance of historic home renovation after the purchase is essential. Some of the most difficult challenges to renovating your early historical property are structural difficulties, outdated equipment, or obtaining the necessary remodeling permits.

Virginia’s Historic homes offer a sense of place that is otherwise fleeting in the fast-moving society. It has a story within its walls, giving everyone a glimpse of the times that shaped America. Furthermore, not only are architectural styles hard to discover in modern architecture, but the exceptional craftsmanship and materials of yesterday’s properties are unrivaled in modern residences. Thus, regarding Virginia home renovations, it is crucial to acknowledge the preservation standards and guidance on preserving and rehabilitating historic buildings. These historic homes should also be understood as historic resources, and you should be prepared to invest yourself, sweat equity, and financial assets. Restoring and living in historic houses can be economical if you take the time to plan, research, and prepare and take advantage of the most up-to-date preservation methods available.

Featured image for the blog article about Historic Home Renovation
Photo by Annie Gray on Unsplash

Challenges Of Renovating Historic Homes

Historic properties can present a unique set of obstacles to renovating them, and homeowners must consider many variables. Structural issues and outdated equipment are some of the biggest obstacles you may face in your Virginia home renovations. Antique cast-iron steam radiators may still heat your rooms. Maybe your walls are 18 inches thick because they’re built of stone, limiting your ductwork options, or your plumbing is outdated and desperately needs to be replaced. You will also face difficulties preserving the exterior or interior’s character while ensuring the structure will endure for many years. Regardless, having lots of patience and perseverance in renovating historic homes is necessary.

In addition to the structural challenges, you’ll also face challenges taking out the appropriate remodeling permits. Depending on your home’s age and history, it may be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Your city ordinances may list specific requirements that historic homes have to follow of what you can and can’t do. While these regulations are meant to preserve the beauty of these historic sites for generations to come, they also may leave you feeling that your hands are tied to renovations.

Standards and Guidelines for Renovation in Virginia Historic Home Renovation

The Commonwealth of Virginia emphasizes preserving and protecting its historic architectural sites, so it is essential to know historic home renovation rules that promote responsible preservation practices to protect the nation’s irreplaceable cultural assets. Some of them are:

  • The Restoration Standards and Guidelines for Restoring Historic Buildings advise first identifying the materials and elements from the restoration period.
  • When prototypes are available, renovation may involve replacing severely deteriorated or missing home components in kind or with a compatible material.
  • Renovating a porch that is beyond repair may be appropriate. Using the same material is best, but a compatible substitute may be considered.


There are many resources, too, should you want more information on the correct ways to renovate your historic home.


Preservation Virginia’s restoration craftsman provides service projects and can help with hands-on preservation-related questions.

The National Park Service Technical Preservation Services provides historic preservation standards and guidance on rehabilitating historic properties.

The National Park Service also published preservation briefs and guidelines on what is recommended and not recommended in renovating historic properties.

You can also find information on restoring and rehabilitating historic buildings on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s website.

For more information about renovating historic homes, you can visit our page at https://historichomesinvirginia.com/historic-home-renovation/. If you are interested in purchasing historic homes in Virginia and have inquiries, do not hesitate to message or call us. We will be glad to show you all the beautiful options available in Virginia and assist you in finding your dream home.

Sea Girt 5k

Virginia Farmhouses